Tag Archives: Armory NYC Indoor Marathon

2016 Armory NYC Indoor Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran my first marathon—as part of a relay team known as the Flat Feet Social Club. (Check that link—race organizers interviewed us!) Comprised of endurance athletes, our group convenes for quirky events and turns off our collective competitive switch. Having fun at the inaugural Armory NYC Indoor Marathon was our top priority, but we still finished third in our division. (There were options to run the 26.2 miles as an all-male, all-female, or mixed relay.)

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What a bunch of 3:15 marathoners look like–when each person runs 6.5 miles.

At first glace, this seems like a crazy event. After all, who would willingly run a marathon around a 200m indoor track? That’s 211 laps! But endurance cray cray loves company, and when my friend proposed the idea, I didn’t shoot it down right away.  In fact, I was intrigued.  A team relay, the 26.2 miles would be broken up four ways. ‘OK, I can handle 6.5 miles on a track.’ Plus, since we were going into the race with zero time goals, I could treat it as a workout. And if this was going to be a solid sportz day, then asking my coach for permission to brick—and riding on my indoor trainer beforehand—seemed like an even better idea.  So I may be a little endurance cray cray …

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Round and round we went.

A few logistical notes:  there were more than 500 athletes registered  (either solo or as part of a two-, four-, six- or eight-person relay), and to avoid congestion, each team selected a date and time to run. The event started Friday morning and continued through Sunday, and although Flat Feet Social Club originally signed up for the “graveyard” shift from 6-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, we ultimately ran at 9:30 a.m. (We also considered the Friday evening shift from 8 p.m. to midnight, but one of our members had a work commitment.) For the relay division, each person could run a total of three times, so we decided to break up the individual workload into 20 loops, 20 loops, and 10 loops.  And during the race itself, each runner wore a bib and affixed a timing chip to their ankle (á la triathlon), and there was an exchange zone sectioned off with cones. There were timing mats at the start and end of the exchange zone that registered who was running and their split.

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It felt weird to be wearing a timing chip and not have a bunch of swimming and cycling gear with me too.

All right. I could write a play-by-play of every loop or mile or leg, but instead, I’ll share a few takeaways that made the experience memorable.

The DJ was on point.  If you have 18 or so relay teams running in a circle for hours on end, then the music has to keep everyone pumped.  There were a lot of top-40 tunes, but one of my favorite moments was when Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream” played. During my high school basketball days, that song was our theme song during sectionals. I loved remembering those times, and I also loved how I was running, and Tom Petty was singing about running down dreams.

Race logistics were smooth, especially given the relay component and inaugural event status. My team totally overthought the whole keeping track of laps aspect—we talked about buying a whiteboard and marking off loops—but we eventually realized we could use the lap feature on our Garmins. (Who said all triathletes are tech geeks?) The hand-off section was clearly marked on the track, and there were various screens that displayed time, distance, and laps to go. We didn’t look at them a ton given our self-described “non-competitive” status, but it was neat seeing how we stacked up against everyone else.

I viewed the “race” as a workout; I went in very loose and without a pace plan other than to run on feel. (I had my Garmin, but only used it to count laps.) Plus, being on a 200m track provided valuable race simulation experience. I practiced reeling in people ahead of me and made a conscious effort to focus on form. I hung tough when rough mental patches arrived (like when I was ready to be off the track after 10 laps during my first stint).

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Somehow, I managed to not get any official race photos, but this is a screen shot from a video clip one of my teammates took.

And overall, it was a great workout:  I covered the 6.5 miles in 48 minutes (7:23 min./mi.). The track was fast, and I felt smooth, strong, and in control of the effort the entire time. And this feeling gives me confidence I can hit and hold a similar pace when I run off the bike at Nationals.

Bottom line, the Flat Feet Social Club had a blast, and we plan to return next year—and we’re also researching our next relay. (Hint: there’s camping involved.)

I should mention that although we didn’t stick around for the individual marathon heats, both the men’s and women’s indoor records were broken. One of our NYAC runners smashed the women’s record and ran a 2:44:44!

Have you completed an indoor and/or relay event? What did you think?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 19 (April 4)

Does anyone else need to a weekend from the weekend? This one flew by!

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Sportz, sports, sportz

General training notes: lots of stuff to talk about this week. First and foremost, Tailwind Endurance is still in the process of getting settled into its new location, which means I’m doing indoor training rides solo (and also suffering from severe Tailwind withdrawal). On the plus side, I get to sleep for an extra half hour, but I miss seeing my coach and people in the mornings. Fingers crossed the facility will be rocking and rolling next week.

Second, after having a heart-to-heart with Earl, we decided to increase my run volume. I’m currently hovering around 20-25 miles per week, and the goal will be to get up to 30—slowly and safely, of course. That number is a scary because I typically run 30 miles per week when I’m training for a half-marathon; thirty miles is a substantial run load for me. But I trust Earl, I trust the process, and I know the only way to become a better, more efficient runner is to run more. And unfortunately, that in turn means backing off the strength training. So overall, I’ll be adding an extra run each week and removing one lifting session.

Monday – a.m. indoor trainer ride

Tailwind Endurance withdrawal is so real; doing 15×1-minute VO2 max intervals by yourself just isn’t as fun. *Sigh*

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Take two of the 3×12 minutes at race pace—and this one went much, much better. Because this was my second time completing the workout, it wasn’t as intimidating, and I knew what I was facing. Like last week, I got it done on the ‘mill and logged eight miles total.

After work, I went to swim practice and somehow ended up leading my lane! Following a shorter warm-up and tech work, we tackled a pyramid that began with one 100 and progressed from 75s to 50s to 25s and then went back up the ladder. I was elected to set the pace because I am a “triathlete and super consistent and that’s the difference between pool swimmers and triathletes.” But that also meant I had to do math to ensure we kept the correct intervals.

Wednesday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. run

Another toughie that would’ve been more fun with Tailwind buds: 6×3 minutes at VO2 max with one minute rest between.

As I mentioned, Earl wants to increase my run volume, so we’re slowly adding another run/mileage each week. I made plans to run with one of my tri buds after work, and one of my new coworkers joined us! (Woohoo for making friends!) We hit the Bridal Path in Central Park and had a nice 40-minute “yog.”

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

It was tough turning around in less than 12 hours and running again; I’ve become used to running on fresh legs, and the fatigue was noticeable. Not detrimental, but definitely noticeable. My legs slowly loosened up over the course of seven miles, but I felt it even more during my strength training routine. Earl said to go even lighter this week, and if I’m being honest, I thought I’d be fine to do my normal lift, but this is why you have a coach. My legs were dunzo.

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; a.m. Armory Indoor Marathon; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Woohoo for sportz Saturdays! First, I hopped on my trainer for an easy 60-minute ride to spin out and wake up my legs before our indoor marathon relay. Nothing noteworthy to report here: lots of cadence drills and zone two time.

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Snapchat fun. It was bizarre to wear this type of timing chip without a wetsuit–it screams triathlon!

Then I headed way uptown for the inaugural Armory NYC Indoor Marathon. One of my triathlon buds had this idea a few months ago, and we were able to get a team of four together to take on 26.2 miles around a 200m track. We had a blast! I’ll definitely write a “race” recap, but I covered my 6.5 miles in 48 minutes. (Although I hoped to squeeze in a masters swim too, we didn’t finish post-race brunch in time. #priorities)

Sunday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Long and steady two hours in the saddle, followed by a 4,000m swim with the Bearcats. Currently ready for food and a nap/bedtime. A most successful Sunday!

Have you ever done an indoor race or event?